Greenpeace and the Guardian: Yet Again, Sticking up for the Bad Guys

Single issue

Not quite the scoop it pretended to be

When is a scandal not a scandal? When it comes via Greenpeace and is splashed over the front page of The Guardian, I’d say.

While obviously I’m delighted that The Guardian and Greenpeace think I’m so powerful that I have the ability to effect a 180 degree shift in government onshore wind policy just by the mere threat of standing in a by-election, I do think a little examination of news priorities might be in order here.

In an op-ed for tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph (which will probably appear online later this evening), I explain – not for the first time: but hey repetition is always useful if you want to get your idea across – why it was that I chose to stand in Corby as the anti-wind farm candidate. It’s because I honestly believe that the Great Wind Energy Scam is by far the greatest scandal of our age. As I’ve argued time and again,  in articles like this, this, this, and this, the wind industry is a very expensive solution to a non-existent problem. It makes no sense economically, ecologically, politically or environmentally. It kills wildlife, needlessly drives up energy prices, causes fuel poverty, blights property values, creates Low Frequency Noise which makes people ill, ruins the landscape and enriches the already rich at the expense of the poor. It even increases carbon emissions.

The only reason the industry exists at all is because of the vast sums of money made available to it through hidden tariffs consumers are forced to pay on their energy bills. Greedy rich landowners and even more rapacious corporations (most of them foreign-owned) are making a fortune at the expense of ordinary people by making a useless, environmentally-unfriendly product – unreliable, intermittent energy – which would be worthless in a free market and which causes enormous misery and damage to humans, to wildlife, to the landscape and the economy.

This oughtn’t to be a party political issue. It ought to be a scandal that concerns everyone, even Guardian readers, even Greenpeace members, so why instead of investigating it are they using their considerable influence and their vast resources to try to keep this evil scam going?

Perhaps they’ve bought into the myth that wind energy is clean and green. That’s certainly what wind industry propagandists like RenewableUK would tell you. But it only takes an hour or so’s reading to find more than enough hard evidence to dispense with these beautiful lies. This is what troubles me about the Greenpeace and the Guardian line on this subject: are they really so bound by ideology that they never want to expose themselves to the truth? Why are they so determinedly sticking up for the bad guys?

If my on-off role in the Corby by election was responsible even slightly for helping spare one or two communities in rural Britain the misery of having wind farms plonked on their doorstep, then I would consider it a cause for pride rather than embarrassment. And if it made no difference whatsoever, well I’m happy with that too, because I didn’t lose my deposit, I didn’t take votes from my friends at UKIP and I met lots of nice people on the way including that rather hot yummy mummy whose baby I kissed.

It’s not as though there aren’t more than enough real scandals to concern ourselves with right now. This one for example.

Related posts:

  1. Greenpeace and the IPCC: time, surely, for a Climate Masada?
  2. Murdoch, Hackgate, Climategate, the Guardian and the vile hypocrisy of the Left
  3. Greenpeace’s forest policy is unsustainable
  4. Greenpeace goes postal


Murdoch, Hackgate, Climategate, the Guardian and the vile hypocrisy of the Left | James Delingpole

August 19, 2011

In the last few months, you can’t have helped noticing, the liberal-Left media, led by the BBC and the Guardian, have been dwelling on the News International phone hacking scandal with a shrillness and hysteria and foaming moral outrage out of all proportion to the nature of the offence.

Am I defending phone hacking or the leaking by police of confidential information to newsapers? Of course I’m not. I think it’s a horrible, grubby practice which must have left all the people who were victims of it feeling soiled and discomfited. But a) as we saw in the cities of Britain last week (and we’re also seeing on the stock markets) there are many problems far more deserving right now of the media’s crusading attention. And b) it’s not as if News International’s imprints which were the only newspapers playing this game. The gutter end of journalism is, of necessity, an unscrupulous, highly competitive business. Tabloid hacks stand or fall on the number of scoops they get over the opposition. It would be stretching the bounds of credulity to claim that other papers, besides those owned by Murdoch, have not engaged in similar dirty tricks.

And possibly not just tabloid ones, either. This is a very important, wide-ranging story which I meant to cover earlier but couldn’t, first because I was on holiday, then because the riots took over as the issue of the hour. It’s a scandal which deserves far wider coverage than it has had so far.

A good place to start is with the excellent Autonomous Mind blog, which has been wondering just how it is that the Guardian seems to be getting so much insider information on the Hackgate scandal.

Throughout the ‘phone hacking scandal’ there was a constant and unscrutinised theme… The Guardian newspaper was accessing or being given access to information no one else but the police had about the investigation, to break new stories and run exclusives.

A story this weekend show the seriousness of such behaviour, with the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigating a claim that an officer on the Milly Dowler murder case gave information to the News of the World newspaper.  If it is right for the IPCC to investigate an officer feeding information to the News of the World, then surely the IPCC should also turn its attention to the raft of stories published in the Guardian that appear to have originated with police sources.

Autonomous Mind is especially suspicious of a Guardian journalist named David Leigh. And he’s not the only one. Guido, too, has been on the case. He points out that, despite recent denials, Leigh confessed in a 2006 Guardian article to having been involved in phone hacking. (Good, noble, phone hacking it goes without saying – because it’s only bad when Right-wing newspapers do it.)

It has now emerged that in 2006 David Leigh admitted in the pages of the Guardian, when hacking was less controversial, that he did it and just as we claimed, he taught his students about it.

There is certainly a voyeuristic thrill in hearing another person’s private messages… unlike the News of the World, I was not paying a private detective to routinely help me with circulation-boosting snippets. That is my defence, when I try to explain newspaper methods to my current university journalism students, and some of whom are rather shocked.

And then there’s the Climategate connection, unearthed by some inspired sleuthing from  Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit.

In February 2010, a couple of months after Neil Wallis of Outside Organisation had been retained by the University of East Anglia to help them strike back against critics, Leigh authored a smear against Paul Dennis of the University of East Anglia, entitled:

“Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks: University of East Anglia scientist Paul Dennis denies leaking material, but links to climate change sceptics in US drew him to attention of the investigators.”

Leigh’s smear began by reporting that Norfolk police had interviewed Paul Dennis (as, presumably, other faculty of the University of East Anglia). However, Dennis had “refused to sign a petition in support of Jones when the scandal broke”. Furthermore, according to Leigh’s apparently disapproving “university sources”, Dennis was reported to have sent a letter to UEA head of department Jacquie Burgess “calling for more open release of data” – suspicious activity indeed. Dennis had also refused to observe the fatwa against communication with climate blogs that were critical of CRU and the Team and had even sent an article on isotopes to Jeff Id.

Leigh’s article disclosed two pieces of information that were not in the public domain.

First, Leigh “outed” Jeff Id by name, occupation and hometown. To that point, “Jeff Id” had been anonymous. His registration at WordPress was anonymous and his gmail account was anonymous. To Jeff’s knowledge, there was no public information that would enable Leigh to identify him. [Update 2.30 pm: A reader points out that Jeff Id had been publicly identified as Jeff Condon in a blog article on Jan 10, 2011. This does not explain all the facts. David Leigh identifies Id as “Patrick Condon, aeronautical engineer” from Illinois and located his telephone number. In addition, there are 34 Jeff Condons on LinkedIn – how did Leigh get to the right one?]

A few days before the article, Leigh had telephoned Jeff. Jeff asked Leigh how he had located him; Leigh refused to say. Jeff expressly asked Leigh not to disclose his personal information, which were then not on the public record. Leigh disregarded the request and then proceeded to “out” him as collateral damage in their smear of Paul Dennis.

Murky enough for you, yet? It gets worse. Note the abovementioned Neil Wallis. Remember who Neil Wallis is? He’s the irascible tabloid hack – deputy editor of the News of the World under Andy Coulson and nicknamed the Wolfman by his terrified staff, who was arrested during the Hackgate scandal. Wallis was the man employed in September 2009 as a £1,000-a-day “adviser” by the Met’s former chief Sir Paul Stephenson, who resigned as a result of the Hackgate scandal. How odd that very shortly afterwards, the University of East Anglia should have chosen to hire Wallis as a flak catcher to defend its reputation after the Climategate scandal.

Steve McIntyre has examined the Climategate connection more thoroughly I have space for here. You can read his inspired sleuthing here, here, here and here. I certainly agree with his assessment that UEA’s decision to recruit a man like Wallis represents a very strange use of public money. Surely, if you were an academic institution of genuine probity your first priority were one of your departments (in this case the CRU) to be implicated in skullduggery would be to investigate the allegations properly, rather than see it as a PR issue to be covered up by a hard man from the world of rock n roll and tabloid newspapers.

What can we conclude from all this? At the very least that the whole business stinks. I wonder, for example, whether it was at Wallis’s instigation that the UEA launched its baseless and vexatious complaint to the PCC about my coverage of its behaviour in the Climategate affair and of its subsequent whitewashes. Perhaps – who knows – he might even have inspired the cynical, junk science hatchet job on climate sceptics staged in collaboration between the BBC and activist scientist Sir Paul Nurse. Certainly it seems that the kind of smearing, conspiring, abuse of power and misuse of public money exposed in those Climategate emails did not come to an end with Climategate. And that the Left-wing MSM – notably the Guardian and the BBC – are at best acting as useful idiots for this shabbiness, at worst as its cheerleaders and co-conspirators.

So what exactly is the difference between the kind of behaviour condemned by the Guardian in the Murdoch press and the kind of behaviour it seems happy to indulge in itself?

Well I’ll tell you a couple of differences: never at any stage have any News International publications boasted about being run by a charitable trust which guarantees their independence and absolute integrity; never have the profits of the News of the World or the Sun been largely dependent on money extracted from the taxpayer and spent on public sector recruitment advertising.

Related posts:

  1. The BBC is at least a thousand times more evil and dangerous than Rupert Murdoch
  2. Greenpeace and The Guardian: yet again, sticking up for the bad guys
  3. Climategate: George Monbiot, the Guardian and Big Oil
  4. Luvvies for hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty and lazy groupthink

One thought on “Murdoch, Hackgate, Climategate, the Guardian and the vile hypocrisy of the Left”

  1. James W says:21st August 2011 at 3:55 pmI loath the left.

    Really, I do; more than I loath Manchester United or Elton John.

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